« THE SHEPHERD CALLS
ONE BY ONE, BY THEIR NAME
THE SHEEP THAT BELONG TO HIM
AND HE PUSHES THEM OUTSIDE »
John 103
(translated and adapted from a French version by Pirot & Clamer)

A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO THE AKKLESIASTICAL THOUGHT


The akklesia thought we now have been articulating for more than 15 years originates in a passion for Christ. Naturally, we need to clarify what we mean by « passion for Christ » as Christian history brims over with, and even « throws up » all sorts of fevers in that same argument’s name.



The ultimate Gospel : Towards Christianity without the Church

time : 1'22

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It begins with a « conversion », as neither of us did receive religion in heritage, or but in a distant manner. A conversion which brought up very quickly the following dilemma : faith OR the Church ? Of course, we did try to reconcile both, at first. We did not want to allow that « devil » of dilemma come in our minds. And, precisely, was it not this very ecclesia that had so generously preached the Gospel to us ? Were we not indebted to the ecclesiastical State, in the same way every child is indebted to their « loving family » or their Nation for having protected and educated them ?

Moreover, we were unable to apprehend the Church in a light that was more, let’s say, economic, and in terms of « soul trade ». Such an approach was not only too guilt-inducing but it was above all too specialised for a child. How would a child in Christ be able to discern that the « holy family » is in fact but a nursery to which he has been entrusted in preparation for his eventual freedom, for his eventual exit. But the nursery, by quickly monopolising the spiritual paternity, steals the child and then expects a return on investment for all its work. The ecclesiastical bottle-feeding workers do have a cost and their multi-secular organisation imposes a tax on all of its children ! Especially as the Father, apparently away, doesn’t pay the nursery fees. What is more, this « scoundrel » only shows up to take the child once out of his nappies — in order to lead him personally into maturity. On top of that, that irresponsible Father does not even give one thank-you for the « holy nursery » and its devoted employees ! Certainly, the child will be safer among nurses, nannies and other ecclesiastical preceptors who will teach him — a supervised-freedom.

In short : being still too ingenuous, we wholly involved ourselves in the ecclesiastical version of the faith. Like obedient and submissive sheep, we tried both faith AND the Church ! We sincerely, conscientiously and wholeheartedly rolled up our sleeves. Studious and fully convinced, we then repeated the much celebrated corpus christi that is chanted everywhere — at the catholic’s, the protestant’s, the orthodox’s and in the various alternative Christian movements : « No Salvation Outside the Church ! »

A wasted effort. Years went by and nothing could stifle the question.

If then, personal Passion and Faith for Christ are cursed by the Christ himself when they are experienced outside the Church and when they place themselves above the Ecclesia,
If One-son’s authority, when placed above that of the corpus christi, is blasphemy for the Christ,
If identifying the Church as a political and educational entity (that will be soon exceeded by the existential dimension of the spiritual adult) is, for Christ, a satanic notion…

If such is the condition of the love between the Christ and an individual person, we were unfortunately left with one option : to ask God that this Faith and this Passion be withdrawn from us !

Our prayer was not answered.

More than that, we eventually learned to read the Scriptures in their aspect of the Existing-Being and not that of the Moral-Being. This is how Christ speaks when He is defining himself, in the commonly named parable of the shepherd, as « the one who calls, one by one, by their name, his sheep and who pushes them outside the Church ». A consolation — as we were, then, definitively in peace with the Church. Blessed is the one who loves the Church for what she is — in truth — after having stripped her, at last, of the corpus christi with which theological subversion covered her and by which the Church mutilates herself.

This is why the akklesiastical commentary is in no way counter-ecclesiastical. It is a paradox, and paradox is a characteristic of the Spirit, but the Akklesia does accept the Church, and so it is ecclesiastical too in a way… We do acknowledge the Church in her task as a religious guarantee and a moral guardian — and only that ! The Church finds herself at the same place where Judaism was in the first century, when facing early Christianity. Meaning we need to get out of her without destroying her, by acknowledging that her earthly part in the Spirit’s process will not pass here below, but that it has already passed over there, in the beyond of resurrection. There is no Church in the world-to-come ! Theologian Karl Barth evokes an « infinite opposition between the Gospel and the Church » as he declares that « the Gospel is the abolition of the Church, in the same way the Church is the abolition of the Gospel ». He concludes his reflection with this remarkable summary : « The Church is judged by the kingdom of God ». It is the same relation at stake between Reason and Freedom : Freedom is an exit of Reason and surpasses her — but Freedom does not imply the destruction of Reason, as such. Because Freedom uses Reason as a tool. Reason is Freedom’s servant as an educational tutorship for those, still in a state of weakness, who see in Freedom a frightening « dizziness », to use Kierkegaard’s term.

This is what the short animation above sums up. The human-stone, in order to become alive, must get out and be broken by the Spirit. But it is not launched against the Church, as if its mission were to abolish it. It is simply leaving a childhood reality. As he breaks the maternal cord, the man is then turning towards a reality to-come, existing after a personal filiation from Father to son that is beyond him and where, precisely, that man will be broken. The individual person is then following Christ personally — in such an existence that is specific to every-One, meaning in an irreligious, adogmatical and exclusively existential way.

We certainly do think that the child needs to believe he has a mission in this world and for the world, but we know that, as he becomes an adult, he needs to understand the only mission God gives him is — himself. If he does not become aware of this, and if he turns his childish desire into a sort of megalomaniac urbi et orbi in Christ’s name, then he is already being an against-the-Christ Christian. That is to say, he is mistaking the Thora’s universal mission for Christ’s individual process ! The Church has always wanted to change the world by making man evolve through a certain set of social and moral responsibilities. It is a noble and honourable initiative, but this task belongs to Reason, to Morality, to the Thora, that is, overall, to religion (the salt and the light). The Christ does not care about changing the world. His work is infinitely more delicate, it is a work that no religion nor reason are in a position to achieve. He is aiming at such an impossible transformation of the Being that it consists in stepping over eternity. He is aiming at such a change in the Being that this world cannot receive that man  — that man is always to-come. Christ wants to kill man and resurrect him in an-Other nature, such as our eye cannot see.

Thus, Akklesia simply wants to echo Christ by shouting the only thing He really said and for which He came : Resurrection alone. This is our faith, and this is our passion for Christ. Let the world not tremble and not be troubled by our presence. We leave it to its authorities, its hopes and its pipe dreams. We leave the crown to the world. But let the being — let him — tremble, be anxious and lose hope as infinite death patiently awaits him. Then, let him jump for joy, if that is granted to him. For we believe Christ came to usher us, in a birth process, to an extraordinary change which, to be sure, crucifies us but will soon leave our grave empty. He will raise us. Then He will slip eternity, time and space under our feet, as a throne for the Being.

ivsan et dianitsa otets